Grande West Transportation
Grande West Transportation International Ltd. (TSX: V.BUS) is a Canadian bus manufacturer headquartered in Aldergrove, British Columbia. The company designed, engineered and manufactures the Vicinity low-floor midibus.
Grande West was founded by successful businessman and entrepreneur William Trainer, in 2008, to design and develop a 27.5 foot bus in response to a need in Canada for a heavy-duty, accessible low-floor community shuttle bus. The Grande West Team worked closely with BC Transit to create a unique and innovative transportation solution that met the rough Canadian environment. With thoughtful care and dedication to build a heavy-duty bus, Grande West developed the 27.5 foot Vicinity bus.
In 2009, Grande West sought out Yaxing Motor Coach Company to partner with in the production of the Vicinity buses overseas. Yaxing used to manufacture Mercedes-Benz’ motor coaches as part of a joint venture and is a subsidiary of the Weichai Group, a company with over $10 billion in revenue per annum.
The first Vicinity bus prototype was delivered in February 2010, as part of a beta-testing program. The Vicinity bus debuted in its first trial during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Initial trials, evaluations and passenger surveys were completed for 21 months during the Vicinity bus’ tour of B.C. During the tour, the bus encountered a variety of extreme climate conditions and difficult terrain. The Vicinity has received certification by the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, Transport Canada and the British Columbian Ministry of Transportation.
In January 2013, Grande West entered an agreement with City View Bus Sales & Service Ltd., where they will be the exclusive dealer of the Vicinity bus for Eastern Canada. City View is a Canadian owned and operated bus distributor specializing in mid-sized, community shuttle buses. In their first year, City View had sold 16 Vicinity buses in Eastern Canada.
Initial deliveries of 15 Vicinity buses occurred in August 2013 to BC Transit. Sales efforts across Canada have resulted in orders being received and production scaling up.
On December 20th, 2013, Grande West Transportation completed its initial public offering and went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange, trading as a Venture with the symbol V.BUS.
In November, 2014, Grande West announced the launch of the 30 foot Vicinity bus at the Canadian Urban Transit Association’s fall conference and trade show in Niagara Falls. The 30 foot model was designed with optional two passenger doors, catered to the specifications of the Ontario public transit market.
The Vicinity bus was determined compliant with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (“FMVSS”) for the United States in April 2015, allowing the Vicinity bus to be sold to the US market.
On June 1st, 2015 Grande West announced that it has entered into an exclusive bus distribution agreement with ABG Distribution LLC (“ABG”), operating nationwide as the Alliance Bus Group. Under the terms of this agreement, ABG will distribute, market, sell and provide full service support for Grande West manufactured “vicinity” buses through its established sales and service locations and select appointed dealers. Grande West also announced the production of a 35 foot model.
Building further on their relationship, ABG invested over $1 million USD to support the manufacturing of Grande West buses at their existing 70,000 square-foot facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Operations began at the start of October 2017.
In October 2017, Grande West held an exclusive unveiling of a new small-sized, medium duty multi-purpose transit vehicle. This "crossover" will be offered in lengths of 22 to 28 feet and will be powered by a rear-mounted General Motors gasoline engine with an Allison automatic transmission. A 27.5-foot operational mock-up was displayed to attendees. Design and development is ongoing with input from transit agencies and private operators. Grande West officially launched the Vicinity LT at the start of July 2019 with deliveries expected in January 2020.
- Office: 3168 262nd Street, Aldergrove, BC, V4W 2Z6
- Parts & Service: 26180 31B Avenue, Aldergrove, BC, V4W 2Z6
- Grande West Transportation’s official website (www.grandewest.com)
- Grande West provides management update and third quarter earnings date. Press release. 02 October 2017. Grande West Transportation.
- Grande West Unveils New Medium-Duty Multi-Purpose Transit Vehicle. Press release. 11 October 2017. Grande West Transportation.
- Grande West Launches New Medium Duty Multi-Purpose Transit Vehicle. Press release. 02 July 2019. Grande West Transportation.